TORONTO — The trade actions of the U.S. government have created uncertainty for investors in G7 countries, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday.
The minister said it’s a “challenging time” after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and Europe, but the government hopes to provide certainty as it works to improve Canada’s relationship with the U.S.
“I can’t in any way sugar coat that for investors… We will work towards making sure that Canada and our other allies are put in a better situation in our relationship with the United States,” Morneau said.
Morneau made this comments while addressing institutional investors from the G7 which included the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Quebec’s largest pension fund.
The moves aimed at boosting G7 countries’ long-term economic future comes after the U.S. metals tariffs were put in place last week and Canada’s response of countermeasures on a long list of imported U.S. goods, set to take effect on Canada Day.
While short term impact on businesses will be minimal Ontario Teachers’ chief executive Ron Mock said he’s “not overly excited about the trajectory.”
“I’m still in the camp that cooler heads will prevail and, quite frankly, that self interest will prevail,” he said during the news conference. “Which means that we will start to back away from the trajectory we appear to be on at this point in time.”
Michael Sabia, the CEO of Caisse de Depot du Placement du Quebec, said Ottawa has done “the right thing” in the face of the U.S. government’s actions.
“We will get through this, and I am confident that the world is not going to descend into what’s called a trade war,” he said.
It remains to be seen whether trajectory of trade war escalates in an upward or a downward direction.